When was the last time you took a moment to really truly discover something sweet?
And just relish it?
For me, that has been pomegranates.
I’ve had them served on a Chaat Dog at a local Indian street food restaurant in New Haven and they were sprinkled on top as a garnish. It added a gentle flavor and crunch to the treat, offsetting the other flavors.
Then, of course I’ve had them purchased in the little containers from the grocery store.This s I decided to get a real one.
This summer, during the height of fruit season, I picked up one from the farm up at Bishop’s Orchard.
I was preparing a rice dish - heirloom rice with sautéed pecans and wanted to add a pop of color and sweet to the dish. I was still a vegetarian and was always looking for ways to enhance my diet.
It’s shell is touch, can’t really peel it with your hands, you need to cut it. Then you have to pull it apart.
I will admit I was a bit shocked and in awe of what I saw inside. I resembled a honeycomb with these pretty hot pink pearls just nestled in each comb.
The beauty of it was just smiling up at me.
At first, I was a bit impatient, and hungry. But then, I realized the treat was in the discovery behind each yellowish comb was another nest of these delicate fruits.
It was the way they had the little jewels beckoning to be found, to take my time, to be patient and discover each one.
So I sat down with the now cut and pulled apart pomegranate resting in one of my little square white bowls. I picked up one of the pieces and with a couple fingers, pulled out a few and immediately felt the pearl-like surface of it and then popped it in my mouth, it crunched a bit like a nut and the juice was gentle like a tea.
Too often in our Western colonized life, we are rushing through to the next that we don’t often enjoy the now. Even in our nourishment, it is the swiftness of how fast it can be made and consumed without regard to the simple essence of being present and letting our bodies enjoy sustenance.
Maybe it is a gift I have been given for the past almost twenty years that my work has centered around balance and family, home and community, and being present. I was remote/hybrid before the pandemic made it a thing. So to me, the mornings are my most precious and I don’t rush through it. Like my lattes, the pomegranate was waiting to be cherished for all the flavor notes and sweet gems.
Life is like that, if we let it.
It can be frightening otherwise, to just rush rush rush so much that the adrenaline is so high that the body can not process out the toxins.
Take a step back.
When I was in my M.B.A . program, we had to take an economic course. Now, everything economy is in the news and on social media and has people so anxious, others so greedy, but it is top of mind.
Well, in the course and watching my professor draw the diagrams on the whiteboard, there was a point that stuck with me. There become a point of diminishing returns. No matter how much energy we expend on it, the return can never be as great as it was when it started out.
I thought of it yesterday as I was straightening out my shoes that line a wall in my bedroom, all of them in boxes save for the summer sandals that are telling me to pack them away for next season.
Once-upon-a-time, I didn’t have such a wall.
There was one pair of gym shoes for walking through the Chicago loop to my office job. I had one pair of Black pumps and black flats. I had one pair of black leather boots. I think I had one pair of summer sandals but not being blessed with pretty feet, probably not.
Looking at those shoes, I thought about thirty years ago when it was simpler for me, quicker even. I had one coat, one coach saddle bag in black that I saved up to get and still own. I had one pair of jeans, you get the idea. It was simple.
As I grew older and more successful, define success, I acquired more things. Yet none was a sweet as that first grown up purchase of that coach purse when I was about twenty-six years old.
What does that have to do with pomegranates and life?
The older I get and the wiser I become as a middle aged Black woman, the more I realize that the most amazing thing is time.
Like the time it took me to cut that pomegranate and pull back each section and peel each comb to discover yet another nestle of sweet jewels.
Life is like that.
A precious precious thing to enjoy and not to spend simply grinding for more when the returns will not be as wonderful.
There is truly a sweetness in life if we take the time to be there for it.
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The writer is enjoying pomegranates and rosemary brown sugar lattes gazing out the window at the trees changing colors in the picturesque landscape of Connecticut.